Friday, February 20, 2015

Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides

With the cold weather and freezing over of harbors, especially north of us, and the Northeast is that we have had have brought a impressively large number of Iceland gull's down into the Gloucester area.  The other day, 137 Iceland gulls were counted.  There were approximately 67 seen at the Jobrey state fish pier.  Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides are a four year gull.  What this means it takes four years to develop the full adult plumage.  The ice and gulls in our area are part of the subspecies kumlieni and are known as "Kumlien" gulls.

Here are representative photographs of each of the winter seasons of the gulls.  All these pictures were obtained in the large parking lot behind East Bay Grill restaurant.  Because these pictures were taken in consecutive years.  It is probably the same Iceland gull returning each year.

Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides -first winter
Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides -second winter
Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides -third winter
Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides -fourth winter adult
to confuse the issue more there can be lighter phases or darker phases than what is shown, but I hope the photographs will help you in identification.  Look for a gull that has no black on its tail as your first step.




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